Jeffrey Schnapp is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and one of the faculty co-directors of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He holds the Carl A. Pescosolido Chair in Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and is also affiliated with the Critical Media Practice program in Visual and Environmental Studies.
Originally trained as a medievalist, his recent publications concern the modern and contemporary eras with a focus on media, technology, architecture, design, and the history of the book. They include The Electric Information Age Book ([Princeton Architectural Press 2012]); an anthology of essays on 20th century Italian art, literature, design, and architecture entitled Modernitalia (Peter Lang 2012); The Library Beyond the Book (Harvard University Press 2014), co-authored with Matthew Battles; Digital Humanities (Egea 2015), an essay on cultural heritage management published in Italian in the Meet the Media Guru series; and Blueprint for Counter Education — Expanded Reprint, a reprint edition of Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s 1970 work of radical pedagogy. His latest book is FuturPiaggio. Six Italian Lessons on Mobility and Modern Life, published in both English and Italian by Rizzoli International (2017).
Schnapp’s pioneering work in the domains of media, knowledge design, digital arts and humanities, and curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Canadian Center for Architecture, and the Fondazione Cirulli. His collaborative Trento Tunnels project—a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum—was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture and at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE. Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall-winter 2011). Panorama of the Cold War, carried out with Elisabetta Terragni (Studio Terragni Architetti) and Daniele Ledda (XY comm), was exhibited in the Albanian Pavilion of the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture and in Erasmus Effect – Architetti italiani all’estero / Italian Architects Abroad at the MAXXI (Dec. 2013-April 2014). He also served as lead curator for BZ ’18-’45, a documentation center built under Marcello Piacentini’s Monument to Victory in Bolzano/Bozen open to the public since July 2014. BZ ’18-’45 was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2016 Museum of the Year competition by the European Museum Forum. His most recent curatorial project, Universo futurista / Futurist Universe, opened at the Fondazione Cirulli in Bologna on April 21, 2018.
After three years of service as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Piaggio Fast Forward, Schnapp assumed the new position of Chief Visionary Officer effective mid-June 2018. Piaggio Fast Forward is a subsidiary of the Milan-based Piaggio Group, known throughout the world for iconic vehicles like the Vespa and iconic brands like Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.